Apr 302018

So some of my coworkers learned about my root beer infatuation, and went to look up where they could get some of the top brews. Last week one of them triumphantly announced that he’d found the best at a hardware store and bought a whole case of it. “Hank’s?” I asked. He replied yes, the one with the guy on the label. Guy on the label? Hanks doesn’t have a guy on the label, what was he talking about. The next day he brought me a four pack and sure enough, there was a guy on the label. Some hardware store guy. I had to figure out what was going on.

So I got in touch with my friends at Hank’s. Turns out around 20 years ago, when they were expanding into the mid west, they go in contact with Hardware Hank a chain headquartered in Plymouth, MN, where I currently live coincidentally . The Hardware Hank marketing guys liked the idea of a tie in soda, and have featured Hank’s Root Beer (and other flavors) in their stores ever since. It’s been a big hit when they have tent sales and other events and has been mutually beneficial for both brands. The year 2017 happened to be Hardware Hank’s 60th anniversary, so Hank’s Root Beer made a special neck label to celebrate for their loyal customer. Some three trailers were produced and were sold exclusively in the Hardware Hank stores during their anniversary sales events. There’s still some floating around it seems, which caused all the confusion with me and my coworker. If you’re a collector of root beer bottles, you may want to try and snag one while they still can be found, or if you just want to drink the best root beer ever, you may just want to drop by Hardware Hank.

Mar 252017

Heady Root Beer

Root beer fans, a new craft root beer company is launching and needs our help. Heady Root Beer has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help bring their vision of root beer to the world. Their vision is fresh, non-shelf stable brew using only natural ingredients and no preservatives or stabilizers. Keep it cold or forget it. They’ve got several flavors they’ve developed as well, so check them out and give them some support.


Mar 172015

Tommyknocker and Polar
Some people hate staying the same. They eschew tradition and continuity in favor of change. The principle offender in the root beer world of this is Tommyknocker, having changed its name twice and its recipe four times in the last 10 years. So why would they keep with a good Seal of Approval formula? This time their “New Root Beer” is gone, replaced by an All Natural Root Beer, and since they changed the name they figured they shuffle the ingredients a bit, adding things like citric acid and deciding it’s wiser to put more Organic Root Beer Flavor than Caramel Color. So a new name, a new recipe, means new reviews for folks that do that sort of thing.

Polar, the makers of Polar Classics Premium Root Beer was so inspired that they decided to change their label, name, and recipe too. Like adding more sugar and getting rid of their artificial ingredients. Now root beer reviewers everywhere can rejoice that there are two new brews to try and write about. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some root beer to drink.